Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Hey, Jude -

Today brought yet another lesson I hope you learn. It's OK to be in a bad mood now and then, but try hard not to be cranky with other people. When you're not feeling happy or you're tired it's easy to get short tempered, especially with the people you love the most. You'll find that you're the most comfortable around people who love you, so it's easy to let your guard down and unleash some of your bad mood on the very people who deserve your bright, sunshiny self the most.

Right now Daddy and I are getting ready to move our family into our new apartment. We've lived in this apartment for 3 years before you were born and now we're moving into a bigger apartment where you will have your very own bedroom. I'm excited to be moving, but moving is difficult and it can be quite stressful. When I get stressed I can get grumpy and then snap at Daddy. Luckily, Daddy loves me very much and knows that I'm just in a bad mood and he doesn't take it personally, but it's not a nice thing for me to do.

So, try to remember that even when you're in a bad mood it's not nice to be snappy with people. The stress will pass, tomorrow is another day and a whole new chance to have a happy time again.

I love you my Jude, my happy boy, my little learner,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sorry, little guy

Hey, Jude -

Today we went to the community garden. I had a great time showing you the plants and you loved looking at all the variations of green. You were particularly enthralled with the baby pine cones on the tree by the gate. I showed you how they start out tiny and purple, grow bigger and green, and finally get fully mature and brown.

The lesson I realized I want you to learn from today is that forgiveness is key. It's not good to hold a grudge or keep that negativity within yourself. You've got to find a way to let it go. That goes for forgiving yourself, too.

One of the things I showed you at the garden was a tiny snail on the ground near the gate. I showed you its shell and explained how that was its house, always carried around on the snail's back. You listened as I told you about snails' soft bodies and the need for protection, which is why their shell/house comes in so handy. As we were leaving we walked past the gate and I felt a delicate crunch beneath my sandal. I stepped on the snail. I crushed his house and killed the poor, little fella.

I felt so bad about killing poor Mr. Snail, especially after introducing the two of you, I apologized about a million times... to you and to the squished little thing on the ground. I felt terrible the whole way home and didn't really talk to you much and tell you about what was going on during the walk like I usually do. You didn't get to hear me talk about the rain hitting the sidewalk or the trees blowing in the wind. Instead, I was beating myself up for accidentally killing the snail.

The lesson is that you should be sorry for doing bad things, but you should also try to forgive yourself. If you've done all you can to make it right and you feel truly sorry, then all that's left to do is forgive. No use in keeping that awful feeling inside when it won't fix what went wrong in the first place. That's what I realized I'd like you to learn today.

I love you, my Jude, my smart boy, my nice boy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Go for it

Hey, Jude -

I thought of another quality I hope you embrace as you grow. Spontaneity. I hope you enjoy the unexpected and get a kick out of shaking up the daily routine now and again. Your Daddy and I are trying to instill this in you already. Take yesterday, for example...

We were on the phone with MeMe in the morning and she mentioned they were headed to our favorite seafood place in southern Rhode Island for dinner. Daddy looked at me and said, "You know, it's really only a 3 hour drive." With that, we packed your diaper bag, got in the car, and met MeMe, Pepe, and Auntie for dinner. Was it a little crazy? Maybe. But that's OK. It was worth it to have a really great day with our family and an unplanned visit with your grandparents and aunt. You got to see the ocean for the first time. You got to smell the salty air, hear the waves lap the beach. It was a special day for everyone because we got to experience that with you.

Being spontaneous is a good thing, my boy. Letting go of what is supposed to happen and reaching out to what might be can make a normal day an extraordinary day. Sometimes it's good to take a chance. Be prudent, of course, but take those chances that make your heart happy.

I love you my Jude, my sunshine, my nice boy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Live and let laugh

Hey, Jude -

You're almost 13 weeks old. You've been here for 3 months. Something like 90 days. In the past 90 days you've done more than I can really fathom. You've learned to eat, breathe, smile, kick, coo. You have found your hands and celebrate by shoving your fists in your mouth at every opportunity. You've been to an art museum, several restaurants, Rhode Island, a wedding, and the park. You ride the subway on a fairly regular basis. You've changed lives and softened hearts. I'd say that's a pretty good record for such a short time.

You'll never believe what you did this weekend. You laughed. You giggled. You honest to god laughed and it was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Daddy was, of course, the source of the glee. I have yet to inspire your giggles, but the smiles and coos are tiding me over until then.

I hope you know laughter intimately as you grow up. It's a wonderful thing. When you're lonely or need a pick me up laughter can be the best medicine. When your heart hurts and life is hard laughter can be your bright, shiny spot. If you grow to be someone who laughs easily and smiles often I will be a very happy mother. If you encourage laughter in others I will be over the moon.

I love you, my Jude, my sunshine, my giggly boy.